Medicare is health insurance that is used by thousands of individuals age 65 or older. There are several “parts to Medicare and sometime it can confuse people on which “Part” they should be enrolled in and what is best for them. To avoid confusion, some seek Medicare replacement plans instead. These plans offer much of the same, if not exact, coverage as Medicare and are more streamlined. These plans offer a bit more clarity and ease of understanding to those that want health coverage and qualify for such plans.

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Medicare replacement plans are offered by insurance companies. These companies offer the same benefits as the original Medicare coverage the individual had or wanted. There are some disadvantages to using replacement plans, however. Some people have had difficulty receiving what was promised and instead receive less benefits as well as ineffective health care that was supposed to be readily given. Those who use Medicare Replacement Plans may be surprised to find out that some benefits are denied when under Medicare they would have not been questioned or refused. This can happen in inopportune moments of illness or injury. Careful investigation and understanding of your Replacement Plan coverage is essential.

Medicare Advantage Plans are also other forms of health coverage that can be considered. These plans are also known as “Part C,” and are insurance that is given through private companies. This is still achieved through the Medicare program and it considered a different “part” of the benefits offered by the program. The private companies are Health Maintenance Organizations, Preferred Provider Organizations, or a few other types of plans that are available. Private companies in the Medicare Advantage Plans often have specified health professional that can be used, and participants in the plan should choose one of the few that have been approved by the plan.

Medicare Replacement Plans are simpler and easier to understand than Medicare. There are not as many “parts” and individuals have a better time understanding their coverage. Inquiring with a Medicare employee or a health care professional can also help individuals better understand Replacement Plans and Medicare. Don’t be afraid to ask!  Keep in mind that on occasion people have reported not receiving the same benefits they had on Medicare with Replacement plans, even though it had been promised as the same coverage. Be specific and ask for things in writing when talking to a specific provider about coverage. Know what was in your original Medicare coverage so the new insurance provider can match. Helping your providers will help you and get you the coverage you need to live a comfortable, stress free life.